Arms Wide Open.
Inside Rio's iconic statue of Cristo Redentor.
Over the last year and a half, I have been visiting São Paulo and, especially, Rio de Janeiro, observing the process of “pacification,” by which the government attempts to peacefully enter and reestablish state control over the most violent enclaves of the city, those dominated by drug gangs called traficantes, or by syndicates of corrupt police called militias. Until 2008, when the pacification program started, the traficantes controlled roughly half of the favelas, and the militias the other half. Both still hold power in most favelas. The ultimate aim of the state government of Rio’s plan, called the Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP), or Police Pacification Unit, is to drive both of these groups out and replace them by the state. (SLNYRB)
The Burton Holmes Archive
has information about Burton Holmes, the travel writer who became the first person to make filmic travelogues. More importantly, they also have a lot of film clips by Holmes
and his associate, André de la Varre
, who was also a great travelogue maker himself. Watching these clips is not quite time travel, but it is as close as we can get. Take a look at Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1926
, Lake Michigan in 20s
, Cairo in 1932
and the 1955 Rio de Janeiro carnival
. The later films have sound and narration, but I prefer the silent ones. [Burton Holmes previously, André de la Varre previously, and the Travel Film Archive, which runs Burton Holmes site, previously]
Good morning. I know that every second of weekend freedom is precious to you so I won’t waste your time with superfluous verbiage. Or superfluous links, for that matter. So here goes: Leo Justi is a DJ from Rio De Janeiro. He has quite a few tracks on his Soundcloud page
but the three that come highly recommended are: "Dunno Riddim (Kid Conga Remix Instrumental)"
, "Floor Crank 3.3"
and (mildly NSFW language)"Blacqstar – Go Get My Gun (Leo Justi Remix of Carli’s Remix)"
Complexo da Maré is one of the oldest favelas
in Rio, and a new short documentary, Te Vejo Mare
, shows how, despite the headlines and violence, a community and culture manages to thrive there. As featured on today's Guardian website: Welcome to Complexo da Maré (10:16)
, The Samba Is Infinite (10:22)
, Fighting for Peace (11:00)
is a recent documentary exploring the AfroReggae
(in Portuguese) movement and the amazing story of one of its founders, Anderson Sa. AfroReggae
(MySpace page has music on) was born in the Vigário Geral favela as a way to give the community
an alternative to the drug trade and to fight police oppression. [more inside]
Brazil Wants to Build a Wall
Social and economic problems out of control? No problem. Brazil plans to literally build a 10 foot wall to separate the haves from the have nots.
Cidade de Deus.
Possibly the best Brazilian film
So, carnival is over in Rio,
but festivities continue until Sunday in Salvador
and other northeastern cities in Brazil. In Rio's samba parade, Beija-Flor
was the winner, but Mangueira
, last year's winner, came in as a very close second. But what am I saying - gotta go get some sleep. See you all here in 2004!
There Is Only One Carnival...
but a lot of sambas
to go with it. Get Rio de Janeiro's 2003 songs here and, at least spiritually, join the escola
) of your choice. It's the real stuff, guaranteed to put a spring in your step. If you get the French Fashion TV
channel, you can watch the desfiles
) live! Oba! Oba!
[Some Real, WM or something required - forgive the indefinition, I'm just back from the first Carnival party and a bit drubk. Last year's songs were featured in this post.
Rio Blames It On The Simpsons.
'The Simpsons...visited Brazil last week (and) made some offbeat observations. (They) found that Rio de Janeiro is a city where all men are bisexual, where fearsome monkeys roam the streets, and tourists are kidnapped by taxi drivers and mugged by children. Unfortunately, the Rio tourist board did not see the funny side and is preparing to sue the producers, Fox, for damage to its international image and loss of revenue. The issue threatens to become a diplomatic incident.
How something so obviously ripping the shit out of stereotyping can be so misinterpreted is beyond me, but now 'The Brazilian president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, has entered the fray claiming that the cartoon "brought a distorted vision of Brazilian reality.
Surely the shows makers were trying to do a service to Rio by rubbishing the stereotypes? Apologies, I ain't seen the show, but if you did, what did you think?
Not Flying Down To Rio For The Carnival?
Never mind! Beat the crowds but catch the beat by listening to this year's terrific sambas
before the rest of the world can. This is the real
shanty-town stuff, not the watered-down touristy rubbish[WindowsMedia required
]that passes for Samba. This year my favourite for first prize is Mangueira
. What's yours? The Brazilian Carnival
[learn all about it here
] starts Saturday and goes on straight through to Tuesday. For the latest inside information - including the Bin Laden Mask controversy - O Globo's
special web site[In Portuguese
]is unbeatable. Enjoy!
Weatherman faces up to six months.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Cesar Maya has asked prosecutors to seek charges against Luiz Carlos Austin, claiming his weather forecast was irresponsible. The city's acting chief prosecutor, said he would likely charge Austin with sounding a false alarm, which is punishable by up to six months in prison.
Was it really irresponsible to report that the storm could hit?
And who listens to weathermen anyway? I say if you want to find out what the weathers going to be like, stick your head out the window. Major storm warnings are the only things I want
to hear about.